(Minghui.org) Having been sentenced to 1.5 years while in her hospital ward, 81-year-old Ms. Chen Guifen has been taken back into custody, even though the authorities had initially allowed her to serve time outside of prison.

Ms. Chen, a Chongqing resident, was arrested in 2020 after being recorded by a surveillance camera while distributing materials about Falun Gong in a residential area.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Shortly after Ms. Chen’s appearance in Jiulongpo Court on July 11, 2020, she had a stroke and became paralyzed on one side of her body. 

While she was still in the hospital, the judge went to her ward on September 17 and sentenced her to 1.5 years with a 1,000-yuan fine. All five witnesses were police officers involved in her arrest. The police also subtracted five years from her age so that they could press charges against her.

After Ms. Chen was discharged from the hospital, the police told her that the judge had allowed her to serve time outside of prison, but she had to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong. They said the renouncing statement was for the nationwide “Zero-out” campaign, in which every Falun Gong practitioner on the government’s list would be asked to sign it. They promised that they would stop harassing Ms. Chen if she signed the statements, but she refused to comply.

Ms. Chen resumed practicing Falun Gong at home and her health quickly recovered. Upon hearing about her recovery, the police came back several times and took her to the hospital for a physical checkup over the next few months. 

Ms. Chen was taken back into custody after she passed the latest checkup on April 6, 2021, although she still needs a walking cane to get around. Her son was asked to come to the police station and pick up her cellphone and shoes in the afternoon.

Ms. Chen is now held at the Jiulongpo District Detention Center. The police said they are going to take her to the Chongqing Women’s Prison 14 days later. Although the police told her son he could apply for medical parole for her after she is imprisoned, her son doubts whether the authorities would ever keep their word.

Related report: 

Paralyzed 80-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to Prison for Her Faith

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution